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2021

IMPACT REPORT


Our goal is to protect human lives and support water treatment technologies.

Change Makers Commercialized Tech Catalytic Collaborations Dear members and friends of NEWT, NEWT is inaugurating this Impact Report to communicate the success we are having on research, technology, and student development in support of the UN sustainable development goal 6 (SDG-6, “Clean Water and Sanitation for All”).

put on research needs/opportunities, help mentor graduate students, and co-fund applied research and long-term high-risk ventures. For these reasons we are attracting top research talent and innovative companies to become part of the future NEWT Alliance.

NEWT is completing six years of highly successful operation. We have provided 522 student-years of training with excellent placements in academia and industry, published over 400 journal articles, issued 33 patent disclosures (six already granted), and generated three start-up companies. We also built a strong innovation ecosystem with over 30 academic labs, 24 industrial members (start-ups to Fortune 500 companies), and multiple testbeds to accelerate innovation and technology commercialization.

Self-sufficiency will require us to secure long-term philanthropic support to provide fellowships to our NEWT graduate students. They are the engine that drives NEWT technologies from early technology readiness levels to the edge of commercialization. Therefore, a key element of our plan is to have 15+ fellows placed at Rice University, Arizona State University, The University of Texas as El Paso, and Yale University. Accordingly, we reach out to you, our core members and friends, to keep engaging and help spread the word about our center. NEWT would appreciate connections with those who believe in the NEWT Alliance’s aspirations.

NEWT is building on this success in Year 7 and beginning a transition to a self-sufficient alliance. This “NEWT Alliance” will continue to provide our students and postdocs valuable multidisciplinary training, broad networking with faculty, NEWT alumni, industry, community leaders, international experiences, and entrepreneurship guidance. Our industry members will continue to benefit from NEWT’s technological solutions and workforce development efforts and direct access to our testbed facilities and provide in-

Thank you,

Our Misson

Dr. Pedro Alvarez Dr. Paul Westerhoff Dr. Qilin Li

Directors’ Letter 1


t sustainable economic development with our

Contents

2

NEWT STUDENTS

3

CHANGE MAKERS

4

NEWT RESEARCH

5

COMMERCIALIZED TECH

6

NEWT PARTNERS

7

CATALYTIC COLLABORATIONS

8


NEWT STUDENTS DIVE INTO THE NEWT POOL

41%

RESEARCH SUPPORT Grant & travel funds for training and development Laboratory space and equipment per student

ACCESS TO CAREER NETWORKS

36%

Vast Industry member pool in Fortune 500 list Dedicated alumni network startups Support of deployment partners & government entities

HIGHLY SOUGHT RESEARCH EXPERTISE Internationally recognized engineering journals and publications Over 230k citations from NEWT associated research

12%

CROSS-MENTORSHIP WITHIN INSTITUTIONS Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Engineering, Physics, Architecture/Environmental Design, Electrical Engineering, Ecology, Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry and Biophysics Fields

11%

STUDENT LIFE SUPPORT NUMBER OF RESEARCH FACULTY SUPPORTING STUDENTS H AC O C

15

10

3

5

The numbers above the university logos represents the collective power of faculty members actively working on NEWT projects, advising students, and bridging industry and government partners to improve the safety and sustainabliity of our research.

3


CHANGE MAKERS MAKING A SPLASH IN ENGINEERING PATHS USTRY IND

%

Dr. Camilah Powell Modeling and Simulation Chemical Engineer, ERC, Inc. NEWT Fellow, Dr. Powell secured her position as Modeling and Simulation Chemical Engineer at ERC, Inc. She reports back that she will be supporting the advanced environmental control and life support systems analysis group, and simulating and evaluating performance of life support systems for future long-duration space missions! Part of her work involves water and air process simulation models along with physical and chemical process simulations.

Dr. Anjali Mulchandani

ADEMIA AC

%

Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico Dr. Mulchandani’s passions for leading public outreach initiatives for STEM awareness and advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in engineering education stemmed within NEWT. Now as an assistant professor, she will share in solving global water, waste and energy challenges to improve environmental resource sustainability. She plans to condust use-inspired research employing thermodynamic and simulation models to guide development of novel (nano)materials, reactors and processes.

Dr. Humberto Jaramillo

C

%

SULTING ON

VERNMENT O G

%

Project Engineer, Separation Processes Inc. Dr. Jaramillo is a Project Engineer with Separation Processes Inc (SPI), “the Membrane Technology Consultants.” Humberto is involved in the design and water quality of new RO systems, challenge testing of full-scale RO units, and providing Operations support to agencies such as the Orange County Water District. Prior to SPI, he worked as a Water/Wastewater EIT with HDR, where he worked on a number of projects related to water treatment including pilot testing for two months at a USBR facility in The Navajo Nation. Humberto earned a PhD at Yale University working with Dr. Menachem Elimelech. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University and is an EIT in the State of California.

Dr. Karen Ventura R&D Program Manager, US Department of Energy Dr. Ventura is the Program Manager in Nonproliferation and Arms Control R&D at the Pantex Plant, the Department of Energy’s facility for the final assembly, dismantlement and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Karen obtained her PhD in Physical Inorganic Chemistry from UTEP in 2017, and worked as a Fellow at the National Nuclear Security Administration/Pacific Northwest National Lab after graduation.

NEWT is distinctive amongst engineering programs because we embrace the practice of completing yearly Individual Development Plans. We use these to track our students career goals. NEWT also has a very active Student Leadership Council that collaborates with center leaders, promotes center outreach, and advances intra-center research collaboration.

4

Scan to learn more about the NEWT experience.


NEWT RESEARCH Guiding ideas through technology readiness levels NEWT focuses on discovering and advancing ideas and processes from technology readiness levels (TRL) zero (ideation), TRL 1 (Discovery and Mechanisms), through TRL 2 (Process and Proof-of-Concept) to TRL 3 (Systems Integration and Demonstration), and then seeks partnerships with start-ups or established companies to move concepts to pilot scale and higher TRLs. Techno-economic analysis concepts are integrated from TRL 1 and beyond.

RY AND MECHAN ISM COVE S I D S

PROCESS AND P ROO FO F -C ON

Biofilm Eradication

le Tr Io ctiv an n e sp or t

Se

SYS TEM S IN TE

MONSTRATION D DE N NA TIO A GR

PRO OF -O F -C ON

on Bor e id Nitr 2 - TiO o t Pho tion a d a r deg of hain rt-c o h S S PFA

PROCESS AND P ROO FO F -C ON

SYS TEM S IN TE

Self-cleaning Electrochemical Membrane Modules

Selective Silica Removal

p-

nZa

p PT CE

MONSTRATION D DE N NA TIO A GR

Oxo-Anion Adsorption Density Functional Theory Single Atom Catalysis

PROCESS AND

RY AND MECHAN ISM COVE DIS S

Tra

RY AND MECHAN ISM COVE S I D S

PT CE

PT CE

lar on S o e c ti f w sin ndo Wi

Di

MONSTRATION D DE N NA TIO A GR

Aluminum Nanoparticle Synthesis

5

SYS TEM S IN TE


COMMERCIALIZED TECH

The center utilizes feedback loops and a comprehensive library of other NEWT technologies around core technology areas to solve water and wastewater challenges that existing technology can not cost effectively address. The circular diagrams show active projects in development at different TRL levels. NEWT seeks partnerships to commercialize and utilize these novel non-chemical processes as new modules in a water treatment train.

SolMem has received the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) Phase I award. The USDA SBIR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. With the award from USDA SBIR Phase I, SolMem’s research team will work on verifying and demonstrating the performance of our technology for the application of treating agricultural drainage water. The focus of the phase I project will be bench-scale testing for the technology to verify the techno-economic feasibility. SolMem has also received an NSF SBIR Phase I award, and an US Bureau of Reclamation award through the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program. SolMem is developing solar powered desalination systems for communities that do not have access to fresh water.

H2O Insights LLC (dba H2Optic Insights), in conjunction with Arizona State University was awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract from NASA titled “Side-Emitting Optical Fibers for Delivery of UV-C Light to Disinfect Key Bacteria in Space Station Water and Conveyance Systems”. Bacteria and biofilms pose health and operational challenges in human support systems. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the UV-C range can be used to disinfect these systems, however, a crucial technology barrier of LED disinfection is the small surface area that emits irradiation, which necessitates arrays of many LEDs within even the smallest reactor. The side-emitting optical fiber can increase the irradiation area of LEDs by >100x creating a flexible “germicidal glowstick” that can be used to disinfect narrow tubing, irregular spaces, and other applications of interest to NASA. Funding for Phase 1 in 2019 was $125k, and increased in Phase 2 in 2021 for an additional $750k.

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Scan here and read about our latest findings


NEWT PARTNERS NEWT’s vision is to enable access to suitable water quality almost anywhere in the world by developing next-generation, easy-to deploy water treatment systems enabled by nanotechnology. Research teams within the center are developing highperformance materials and treatment systems with interchangeable modules that are highly efficient in targeting priority pollutants while offering flexibility needed to tap unconventional water sources and respond to changes in source water characteristics or treatment objectives. Thus, NEWT enables “fit for purpose” treatment.

CURRENT SEED PROJECTS BN Composites for PFAS Solar Vacuum Nanoenhanced Electrodialysis 2D Catalysis Nitrate Reduction Patterned Electroactive Membranes for Electrochemical Fouling Control Industry/Practitioner Advisory Board Participation: Early access to NEWT research products such as reports, papers, and other publications Access to facilities and instrumentation utilized in NEWT research, subject to partner institution requirements, policies and regulations On-location short courses that may be provided by researchers per mutual agreement between the researchers and members Opportunities to sponsor targeted NEWT/Member research projects at a reduced overhead rate

SPONSORED PROJECTS Discovery and Implementation of Atmospheric Water Extraction Technology for a Renewable Water Supply Reductive Defluorination and Mineralizations of PFOA High-recovery Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) Ultraviolet LED Transmitter Array for Surface Disinfection of Virus

NEWT’s testbeds, including MobileNEWT, NEWTSkid, and DesaliNEWT, are unique resources used by center researchers and industrial collaborators to demonstrate and test these new technologies for drinking and industrial wastewater treatment applications. NEWT Testbeds enable, and are available for, ‘win-win’ collaborations that drive transformational industrial, innovation and educational outcomes in the US and worldwide. Our research teams are currently working with for-profit and non-profit partners on long-term modeling, testing and demonstration projects that provide significant value for both academic research and the corporate bottom line.

PROJECTS LEVERAGING MEMBER FEES

19 OVER THE LIFETIME OF NEWT

Opportunities to commercialize intellectual property 7


CATALYTIC COLLABORATIONS

NG RI

&

CH AR E S RE

Multi-functional Nanomaterials

ENE RG Y-

FO OD

&

GE RA VE BE

EN GI NE E

NEWT is a unique resource for its members, providing a collaborative environment whereby the research and market expertise can be leveraged to develop next generation affordable, mobile, modular, high-performance water treatment systems enabled by nanotechnology.

Testbeds

ANA L Y T I C S -

RE LTHCA HEA

Nanophotonics Enhanced Water Purification

ADVANCE D M ATE R I A LS 8

S EM ST SY

NEWT’s goal is to continue these collaborations and engage with new partners to drive further advancements in desalination and potable water reuse technology development for broad societal and commercial impact.

Scaling & Fouling

TR E A TM E NT

Safety & Sustainability

Scan here for collaborative research & development opportunities


BE THE CHANGE

Qilin Li

Shane Walker

Assoc. Director

Mike Wong

Testbeds Leader

Thrust 1 Leader

Jaehong Kim

Mary Laura Llind

Rafael Verduzco

Thrust 2 Leader

Thrust 2 Co-Leader

Thrust 3 Leader

Thrust 3 Co-Leader

Ernest Davis

Internal Science Advisor

Innovation Eco-System

R IC E

NEWT CENTER HEADQUARTERS RICE UNIVERSITY 6100 MAIN ST., MS6398 HOUSTON, TX 77005 (713) 348-6398 (NEWT) | EMAIL US: INFO@NEWTCENTER.ORG

R IC E

Carolyn Nichol Education Program Dir.

R IC E

Menachem Elimelech

R IC E

Theresa Chatman Diversity & Inclusion Dir.

Francois Perreault

YALE

Naomi Halas Internal Science Advisor

R IC E

R IC E Matt Hotze Integration Director

R IC E

UTE P

YALE S & S Co-Leader

S & S Leader

ASU

R ICE

ASU

YALE

U TE P Dino Villagran Thrust 1 Co-Leader

Julie Zimmerman Jorge Gardea-Torresday

R ICE

Deputy Director

U TE P

Paul Westerhoff

Director

R ICE

ASU

R ICE Pedro Alvarez

Jorge Loyo

Christina Crawford

University Edu Dir.

Pre-College Edu Leader

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Profile for NEWT Center

NEWT CENTER IMPACT REPORT 2021  

Our goal is to protect human lives and support sustainable economic development with our technology. Our hope is that these systems can tap...

NEWT CENTER IMPACT REPORT 2021  

Our goal is to protect human lives and support sustainable economic development with our technology. Our hope is that these systems can tap...

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